Sierra Leone’s economy has been donor driven but according to research, about 60% of development aid is not real as it is a phantom dress up to address poverty.
This was disclosed by Actionaid during a seminar on aid and effectiveness.
At the seminar, held at the Atlantic Hall of the National Stadium in Freetown, Actionaid’s country director Tennyson Williams stated that development discourse had changed as people were no longer talking about good roads, water and sanitation.
The director maintained that, “we should now be thinking of fighting poverty by creating wealth and not fighting poverty by creating poverty”.
Speaking on the Paris declaration, Mr Williams said 122 countries including Sierra Leone signed their commitment to improve on how aid was being spent to reduce poverty.
One of the problems affecting the Paris declaration, he went on, was that “40% of donor funds are spent on administration cost”, adding that another problem with the Paris declaration was that “donors should follow the country’s agenda and it should be in alignment with the priority of the country not what the donors want”.
He said both parties were mutually accountable and that it should be a two-way process and that developing communities should be in the lead, stressing that donors always play the boss as there was no harmonisation between both parties.
Mr Williams further stressed that in as much as “we are putting pressure on our donors we the people also need to do something because we don’t have anything to offer to these donors.”
As the donors are preparing for the third high level forum on aid effectiveness in Accra, Ghana, the country director urged the Sierra Leonean delegation to be ready to push effectiveness of aid and that they [Sierra Leone dele] should not hide behind Ghana as “aid should not be given for the sake of aid but it should be effective.”
In his presentation on aid effectiveness Sunit Bagree, a consultant at Actionaid, said aid was in support of the social and economic development of poor countries to eradicate poverty.
The consultant disclosed that the effectiveness of the aid should lead the people out of poverty and suffering.
Earlier Festus Minah, chairman of the Civil Society Movement, said the aim of the seminar was a step towards ensuring that they didn’t only know what aid’s effectiveness was but prepare for the third high level forum on aid effectiveness.